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by First Quarter Storm Network-USA Friday, Sep. 22, 2006 at 6:11 AM 415-309-5835 1367 Natoma St. San Francisco, CA 941304

We activist of the First Quarter Storm Network (FQSN)- USA commemorate the thirty-fourth year declaration of martial law in the Philippines that plunged the country into 14 years of dictatorship. Today, on the 34th year commemoration of martial law, we have to struggle against another tyrant who wanted to impose the same dictatorship under another label. We have to fight on! We still have to fight a war to win –the war against forgetting and revisionism. We have to wage a protracted war to remember, relive and reaffirm with our collective memories, our struggle for national democracy and the social liberation of our people.

FQSN-USA Statement on the 34th Anniversary of Martial Law in the Philippines

Fight Resurgent Fascism, Fight Arroyo’s Undeclared Martial Law.

San Francisco— We activist of the First Quarter Storm Network (FQSN)- USA commemorate the thirty-fourth year declaration of martial law in the Philippines that plunged the country into 14 years of dictatorship.

Today, on the 34th year commemoration of martial law, we have to struggle against another tyrant who wanted to impose the same dictatorship under another label. We have to fight on!

We still have to fight a war to win –the war against forgetting and revisionism. We have to wage a protracted war to remember, relive and reaffirm with our collective memories, our struggle for national democracy and the social liberation of our people.

FQSN members, friends and allies together with our youth activist and community supporters in the United States and in the Philippines takes a solemn oath that we will never waver in our struggle to liberate our people and ourselves from all kinds of oppressions and injustices.

Thirty -four years ago, Marcos likes a thief in the night, signed presidential proclamation 1081 on September 21. But only announced the declaration of martial law two days after, on September 23,1972. Right after they have arrested more than 200 political opposition figures, activist and other potential threats to Marcos political career.

Today, Philippine president Gloria Macapagal –Arroyo is trying to institute fascism, an undeclared martial law. She want to legalize her martial rule after she imposed an “emergency rule’ last February by declaring proclamation 1017 that copied the proclamation 1081 word for word.

Marcos Martial law (1972-1986)

Marcos declared martial law to protect US economic and political interests. He preempted the end of the parity rights in 1973. The Philippines was then an important US base for the war in Vietnam. The two largest US military bases were then located in the Philippines- the Subic Naval Base and the Clark Air Base. Thus US supported Marcos' declaration of martial law. Later Vice President George Bush Sr in 1981 when he visited the Philippines toasted Marcos with:" “We love your adherence to democracy"

More than 80,000 people perished or were killed during martial law. More than 3,000 activist "missing" and more than 300,000 people arrested or jail for a time.

A classic example was the forced evacuation of more than 50,000 people in the forest region of Isabela where more than 120 barrios were declared as “ no man’s land”. In 1974 they declared the towns of Aurora and Sorsogon as “free fire zones”

Again, during OPLAN KATATAGAN, more than 500,000 people in Eastern Cagayan and Western Papaya were forcibly evacuated where more than 600 people were killed by the military then led by Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Col. Tirso Gador from 1981-85.

Mindanao was the prime target of fascist atrocities during martial law. More than 50,000 were killed when the AFP launched its brutal campaign of suppression against the Bangsa Moro people from 1972- 1977. The city of Jolo was razed to the ground in 1974. The Tawi-tawi massacre occurred after the death of General Teodolfo Bautista in Sulu in 1977.

The most prominent victims of martial law were Dr. Juan Escandor, Dr. Bobby De La Paz, Maclling Dulag, student leader Edgar Jopson, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr, Evilio Javier, Mayor Cesar Climaco, Gov. Jose B. Lingad Sr. among the thousands of others.

But even before martial law there was the abduction of PCC professor Charlie Del Rosario of the Movement for a Democratic Philippines MDP), The Lapiang Malaya Massacre, the Jabidah Massacre, Mendiola Massacre, the 1st Plaza Miranda Massacre and the Plaza Miranda bombing and other political killings perpetrated by the US-Marcos regime.

But in February 1986 the Filipinos had enough of Marcos. They rose up in the well-known EDSA people’s uprising and overthrew the dictator who was given sanctuary in Hawaii by the US government.

Arroyo’s Undeclared Martial law

Now --the US-Arroyo is in the processes of legalizing martial law with the anti-terrorism bill (ATB) and the bloody campaign of political killings. A Marcosian reign of terror is now in place in the Philippines.

More than 753 activists were killed, more than 184 were arrested and now missing.

Like Marcos, Arroyo wanted to change the constitution to suit her political ambitions. Like Marcos, she wanted to change the constitution to make it suit the economic, political, military and other interests of her American masters.

Like Marcos, Arroyo is conducting peace talks with the Bangsa Moro people in order to attack and destroy them later. But the More Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has warned the government that they will go to war if the peace talks in Kuala Lumpur broke down.

Like Marcos, Arroyo had filled her cabinet with more than 22 former military officials. Her executive secretary is former General Eduardo Ermita, a Vietnam War veteran and was reportedly involved in the US “OPLAN PHOENIX” that killed more than 50,000 Vietnamese during the Vietnam War is orchestrating the bloody campaign OPLAN BANTAY LAYA against the people.

Like Marcos who formed the Agrava Commission to investigate the Aquino assassination in 1983 and found the guilty persons innocent, the US-Arroyo regime in 1984, responded by forming an investigative commission headed by formed justice Jose Melo. At the same time named a known human rights violator, retired general Jovito Palparan as a counter-insurgency adviser to the cabinet when the later retired last Sept. 11. Palparan is responsible for more than 120 killings from Southern Luzon to Central Luzon from 2002-2006.

The Struggle Continues

But where there is oppression, there is resistance.

We, the FQSN members lost most of our friends, relatives and loved ones during martial law. What was worst is that we suffered deeper scars during this dark period. One in every five Filipinos have had their relatives arrested, tortured or were harassed in any form or the other during martial law.

We were branded as “communist terrorist.” Even some members of our families and most of our friends treated us a pariahs because we dared to fight and struggle against the dictatorship especially during the early years of martial law. But later we were vindicated.

We burrowed deep among the people. We built mass organizations. We suffered defeats, reverses but we did not falter. We bide our time in the underground until our collective efforts resulted into the downfall of the dictatorship in February 1986 only to be replaced by another regime under the guise of a “liberal democratic “façade. We have to face the music, that the EDSA revolution is a political revolution not a social revolution and we have to struggle on.

As we commemorate the 34 year of martial law, we take this time to pause and honor our departed martyrs and those who are still living and are still in the thick of the struggle and those who continue to fight for our people’s national and democratic interests. We must fight on until we totally have liberated our people from the shackles of imperialism, feudalism and resurgent fascism!

“ Fierce browed, head bowed, we serve the children!”

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